Q Interactive Buys Postmaster Direct, Growing E-Mail Ad Network

  |  July 8, 2009   |  Comments

Postmaster Direct holds a patent on double opt-in e-mail marketing; the two lists will be offered separately.

Q Interactive has acquired e-mail list broker Postmaster Direct. The purchase consists of a database of 11 million users, intellectual property that includes a patent on double opt-in e-mail marketing, and publisher and advertiser contracts.

Postmaster Direct was previously owned by market research firm Authentic Response. Before that it belonged to deliverability firm Return Path, which spun it off as part of Authentic Response when it created the firm in fall 2008. Earlier Postmaster Direct was a unit of NetCreations, which was bought by Return Path in 2004. The companies would not disclose the value of the deal.

According to Q Interactive CEO Matt Wise, it made sense for the company to buy the unit because it has positioned itself as an e-mail audience aggregator. "The concept of an ad network is our sweet spot," he said. "It's what we do best."

Q Interactive will add the Postmaster Direct database to its opt-in e-mail ad network, and will continue to operate Postmaster Direct as a separate brand. Publisher partners can choose whether to work with Q Interactive's e-mail list brokerage services or with the Postmaster Direct service.

"We will have two sets of consumers in our e-mail database. Some who are double opt-in and some who are single opt-in," Wise said. He added, "When you receive an e-mail from Q, you'll always know which brand you received it from."

Postmaster Direct's double opt-in database is adding approximately 300,000 new names a month, according to Wise, who said he does not know the attrition rate. Wise expects to accelerate that growth through wider publisher distribution and improved ad targeting.

Q Interactive's publisher partners include About.com, AOL, and the Weather Channel. For Postmaster Direct, the best known is CNET. In the past year, Postmaster Direct has had approximately 100 advertiser agreements.

The value of Postmaster Direct's patent on double opt-in is not entirely clear. Double opt-in requires that consumers confirm via e-mail that they wish to receive mailings from a sender, thus protecting them from sign-ups by others. It was once the highest standard of e-mail list building. But it may be losing credence with some marketers.

Writing on ClickZ earlier this year, Email Data Source founder Bill McClosky argued the practice is no longer relevant to serious list builders since confirmation e-mails can appear as spam, and indeed are often spoofed as part of phishing scams.

"If you ask an e-mail marketer working with a client who demands a double opt-in on their programs, they'll tell you the sad truth: double opt-ins make it nearly impossible to grow your list," McClosky wrote.

The 34 comments on his column expressed a roughly even divide in sentiment between enthusiasm and outcry.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Early Bird Rates expire May 29. Register today and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

Resources

Jobs

    • SEO Specialist
      SEO Specialist (HeBS Digital) - NEW YORK                             ...
    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...